A week or so ago, we at African Safari Consultants (ASC) were fortunate enough to chat with Dr Bool Smuts of the Landmark Foundation – a South African NGO dedicated to building South Africa’s conservation economy so that it’s natural landscapes can be more effectively conserved. The paragraphs that follow are from notes made during [...]
The new Tinga Tinyeleti Tree House lodge offers the chance to rekindle our ancient love affair with trees, in an ultra luxurious setting overlooking the pristine wilderness of the Tinga private concession. Ever since childhood days of tree houses and tire swings, trees have always held a special place in our hearts – many an [...]
In this instalment of our Safari Icons series, we take a look at the world-renowned Husband and Wife conservationist/photographic team – Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Veterans of the industry, with over 25 years experience, the Jouberts were recently honoured with their appointment as National Geographic Society’s “Explorers in Residence”. Having worked in some of Africa’s most remote [...]
Africa is a truly beautiful continent, with many a site to behold. These are some of our favorite UNESCO World Heritage Sites that we’ve been fortunate to visit over the years. Which is your favorite?
African Safari Consultants (ASC) feel strongly about wildlife conservation and community development, and always support those making a difference, whenever and however we can. In 2011 we successfully partnered with the Wilderness Foundation’s ‘Forever Wild’ initiative, where we actively campaigned to raise money to combat rhino poaching (you can find the campaign post here). We [...]
On Wednesday this week, the legendary British broadcaster and conservationist Sir David Attenborough hosted a brief question and answer round on BBC Africa’s Twitter and Facebook platforms in promotion of his new series entitled ‘Africa’. The series, Attenborough’s last of such magnitude, examines six distinct ecological zones on the continent: The Kalahari; The Savannah; The Congo; The [...]
In the second part of our exclusive Q&A series with the team behind African Safari Consultants, we speak to Cape Town based partner Liesl Mathews about eggs benedict, where to go with your kids, the perfect holiday snap and much (more) more… For part one of our series, where we speak to Jeff Ward, click [...]
With this, the first in a new series of posts, we’ll be chatting to the faces behind African Safari Consultants and asking them about their favorite destinations, how they got into the industry and much (much) more. First up we speak to Mr Jeff Ward, managing partner of the New York office. 1) Where are you from? [...]
Most of African Safari Consultant’s clients get to see and experience the Sabi Sands Wildtuin (Sabi Sand Game Reserve) as one of the most amazing natural wonders they have ever perceived. With its lush, bushy vegetation, the incredible amount of wildlife, and the probability of actually running into these animals within their natural habitat, the [...]
African Safari Consultants is proud to present another fantastic sweepstakes - the Cape Town Weekend Getaway! After hosting such a hugely successful first sweepstakes, we thought that we’d show our appreciation by putting together a little something special as a way of thanking our loyal fans (both new and existing) and clients alike. To do [...]
Cape Town is the jewel in South Africa’s crown. Voted last year’s Top Destination on Trip Advisor – and a regular top finisher in several other publications of high esteem – Cape Town captures the heart just hours after arrival. Touching down at the newly refurbished Cape Town International Airport, one immediately gets the feeling [...]
A favorite here at the African Safari Consultants office, the meerkat has become synonymous with the lighter side of African wildlife. These small mammals – who are members of the mongoose family – delight with their comical antics, playful nature and undeniable ‘cuteness’. Native to Southern Africa, and occurring predominantly in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, meerkats [...]
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Good morning, Yes, we are back and had a wonderful vacation! I'll give you our honest feedback. We just loved Kirkman's Kamp. In truth we actually saw more animals just driving in our rental car through Kruger National Park ourselves, but the experience of the drive was awesome. For example, we saw a leopard eating it's impala kill and had the ability to sit under it in our land rover for about 45 minutes while a hyena was nearby. This is something we wouldn't have seen on our own car drive. The staff there gave us first class treatment - with greeting us as we arrived and giving us fresh moist towels to clean up with. For the game drive, we loved the touch of having hot water bottles and blankets to keep us warm! They wound up giving us two game drives (we thought there was just one evening one and a walk). The food there was excellent and the room/accommodations superb. Everyone needs an escort to their room as animals can be everywhere. In fact, they said the night before a lion chased an impala through their camp! Too bad we couldn't have afforded another night because we might have been able to spot the only animal of the big five we never got to see, the lion. Riley's Rock was unique. My sister was disappointed with it initially feeling it was too 'rustic', but the rest of us really loved the look and 'feel' of it. She wound up coming around to really loving it - who wouldn't with all the dinners under the stars around a fire? We were blessed with having our first dinner with Ted Riley himself. Apparently he had guests that were in for some important conservation business and it allowed for some very serious and interesting dinner conversation with all of us...a great and memorable experience. Interestingly, they asked about how we booked their hotel and we told them about you (and they were quite grateful). How had you heard about them? We also loved the Swaziland excursions we took through Swazi-Travel. Kosi-Forest Lodge though beautiful, was probably our least favorite. The place was truly lovely yet simplistic. We loved the look of the tiki torches around so we can find our room at night. It would be a much better place to stay in the spring or summer as it was too cold to go snorkeling. It was also more geared for honeymoon couples. The food was tasty and it's presentation very nice. Thula Thula was nice, though disappointing for game viewing. If I had it to do over again, I would have stayed one day there (just because my wife read the book), and two days at a big game reserve hotel. They don't have the big 5 there - and really the main thing to see is their signature elephants, which are breathtaking. The tracker and driver were magnificent, but they excelled more on the bush walks. We only got to see elephants and rhino there...they have no lions and in 3 game drives we never saw buffalo or leopard either. In fact they hadn't seen a leopard since last December. The tented accommodations were nicer, in our opinion, then Kosi-Forest Lodge. They were bigger. Both had family tents, which might have been preferred for us - if less expensive. The meals were good and we especially liked that there was a game meat option each day. We wound up downloading the South Africa map for our GPS and we are glad we did. While it wasn't perfect, it did fill in missing spots when using the directions provided. The GPS did wind up giving us totally wrong directions to Thula Thula though. Looking back, it would have been better doing the trip in reverse...as it is hard to top seeing so many animals (Kruger and Kirkman's Kamp). Again, thank you so much for organizing the trip for us - it was really a once in a lifetime experience and our whole family has memories that won't be forgotten! P.S. - your telephone call to us at Kosi Bay was a wonderful touch and much appreciated. The Toro family
Lise & Jeff, The safari was awesome. Among the many amazing animals and landscapes, we saw 3 kills - a pride of lions kill a cape buffalo, and twice saw cheetahs kill a gazelle. Solomon was really 100% responsible for making the trip so awesome. More than just a driver, he was unbelievably knowledgeable about absolutely everything - animals, plants, star constellations, geology, Tanzanian and African history, demographics. We didn't ask a single question that he didn't know the answer to, and we asked a lot of questions. We requested, and he and the camps obliged, for him to eat dinner with us and the other guests because he was so enjoyable to talk to. Not only was he smart, he was funny, considerate, polite, jovial. He also had an "instinct" for what animals were about to do - for example, one day there were a ton of trucks watching a leopard from a distance. Not only did he watch the leopard, but he watched where the leopard was LOOKING. He said "I think I know where it's going next" and drove us away from all of the other trucks. It jumped out of its tree and disappeared in the grass. A moment later, it emerged from the tall grass and jumped onto a log 10 yards from where Solomon had positioned our truck. Not one of the other trucks had done the same, and we got an up-close-and-personal view of the leopard. Then it walked right towards us and around the front of the truck. We have some amazing photos from the trip and I am getting a ton of questions about it. I tell everyone that if they ever go to Tanzania, they absolutely need to use Solomon as their guide. He went above-and-beyond the entire 10 days and it really made our trip special. Dylan
Dear Jeff and Camille – So nice to get your holiday greeting and bad me for not ever writing “officially” to thank you both for the most amazing experience of my life – Simbambili and my safari experience. Your nose and ears must have been itching dozens upon dozens of times as I’ve recounted my adventure to friends and family and colleagues – and most recently, in our holiday letter. It still seems a bit like a dream…Funny, people have said things like, “Wow, now you can check that off your bucket list.” And I always reply, “Check it off?! Now I just want to go on safari again and again!” My time at Simbambili was life changing and life enhancing and there’s something about Africa that seems to have gotten under my skin. Guess that happens doesn’t it? Endless thanks to you both for helping to make my childhood dream come true! You guys rock! Happy holidays and all good things to you in the New Year ahead! Warmly, Melissa
Hi Liesl, I'm in London waiting for my flight back to the ice and snow, and I have to be honest - everywhere you booked us was absolutely beyond amazing! Plettenberg Bay (Starfish), the Garden Route farm (Malvern Manor) and especially Nottens were fantastic and great value. In 2008 my profession had a World Congress in Cape Town and I was accompanied by 12 North Americans. The trip was great, BUT I needed to find a better travel agent. YOU GUYS passed with flying colours! Will keep in touch, Vic
Hi Ilze- Nicole and I are back in the US and wanted to thank you again for all the help that you gave us to make our trip truly fantastic! We're happy to give you some feedback on some places that stood out to us, as well as some learnings for future travelers. I'll also try to address your questions in the respective sections. Below is a quick summary: South Africa
- Cape Town accommodations were fine. Nothing "special" but we knew that going in. It was very comfortable, clean and convenient.
- The lodge in Franschhoek was really nice.
- The Elephant Lodge was a really nice location. Very unique and charming.
- You definitely warned us about the distance between all locations - we probably should of listened. While it was great to see the towns that we did, it was often after a long day of driving only to have to leave again first thing in the morning.
- All in all, the locations and lodges were all lovely in S. Africa.Mozambique
- Everything was amazing! LOVED Islands of Siankaba.
- We've already given feedback here. It was an amazing island. Beautiful, tranquil, etc.
- The Banguerra Lodge had a lot of potential. It was beautiful, the food was good.
Overall Feedback Aside from the above, we were very very happy with all the other elements of our trip (food, boarding, activities, transfers). That said, we thought we’d summarize some things that may have made our trip a bit more seamless so that you can pass along to future customers. Looking forward to connecting at your convenience. Thanks again for your help in planning a truly amazing, life changing trip. I hope the feedback above is helpful, and in the context that it was intended - which is that all in all, we are VERY happy. Have a great day. Colby
- We really loved the Stanley.
- Travel time between parks.